Guyana Amazon Warriors dealt a severe blow to Jamaica Tallawahs’ Caribbean Premier League semi-final hopes in St Kitts on Saturday, by inflicting them with a sobering 46-run defeat at Warner Park.
In the second game of a triple header on the final weekend of preliminary games, Amazon Warriors used captain’s Nicholas Pooran first half-century of the tournament – a whirlwind 39-ball unbeaten 75 – to get up to 169 for six off their 20 overs.
Fast bowler Odean Smith then shook Tallawahs with three for 21 to move his tally for the tournament to 13 wickets while left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie picked up three for 25, as the innings subsided to 123 all out with five balls left.
Rookie Kirk McKenzie struck 28 and Test batsman Shamarh Brooks, 21, but the much vaunted Tallawahs batting juggernaut sputtered when it could least afford to.
They were 63 for one in the ninth over following a 41-run, second wicket partnership between McKenzie and Haider Ali (16) but lost their last nine wickets for 60 runs.
The big-hitting pair of Andre Russell (0) and Carlos Brathwaite (1) lasted eight balls combined.
“It was the middle overs that bring our downfall. If we had batted better in the middle overs we would’ve made a better game out of it,” said Tallawahs captain Rovman Powell who made just ten.
“[We will] just try to improve in all three areas [in our final game on Sunday] – batting, bowling and fielding – and once we improve I think we can get over the line.”
The defeat left Tallawahs dangerously outside the semi-finals spot in fifth on eight points, with the top four all on ten points and the already eliminated Royals bottom on four points.
Amazon Warriors lie second behind leaders and reigning champions Trinbago Knight Riders on net run rate.
Pooran’s Man-of-the-Match effort included four fours and seven sixes and anchored a 54-run, fourth wicket stand with Shoaib Malik (23) and a 35-run partnership with Smith (1).
“I know I was due and there was no better opportunity especially since we were in a state of bother today,” said Pooran, who arrived at the crease at 63 for three in the ninth over after fellow left-hander Shimron Hetmyer perished for 23.
“I was looking forward to a big score and thankfully today was the day.”
Sunday’s final set of preliminary games will see Amazon Warriors take on Tallawahs again, TKR clash with St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Royals facing third placed St Lucia Kings.